It’s difficult to describe TikTok celebrity, That Vegan Teacher, to someone who has never heard of her. Frankly, it’s hard to explain TikTok to someone who has never heard of it. Nevertheless, we shall endeavor to cover both. But there are some questions we need to cover first, namely, who is That Vegan Teacher, and is her quirky, offbeat brand of “teaching” good or bad for advocating the vegan lifestyle?
Who is That Vegan Teacher?
That Vegan Teacher, otherwise known as Miss Kadie Karen Diekmeyer, is an elementary school teacher turned self-proclaimed animal rights activist. She emerged onto TikTok in 2020 after being convinced by a friend that it would be a great platform for her to spread her message. That message is a good one, as her primary focus seems to be encouraging others to live a vegan lifestyle and practice kindness towards animals.
Using her unique brand of songwriting and a seemingly unflappable passion for the subject matter, Miss Kadie spreads the word of veganism through song. It’s a proactive approach and it certainly gets results. That Vegan Teacher has a whopping 1.6 million followers on TikTok, as of January 2021. As positive as the message might be, however, there are some aspects of Miss Kadie’s approach that have people questioning her methods.
What is That Vegan Teacher’s message?
Miss Kadie’s message is a robust collection of cheery, often infectious songs about the benefits of veganism and horrors of the animal agriculture industry. Unfortunately, any official album of those songs would have to have a parental advisory sticker attached to it. Miss Kadie’s songs are littered with profanity and are more likely to induce a sense of guilt or discomfort in those she wishes to teach, rather than spark them into making an informed choice.
Is That Vegan Teacher a good thing for vegans?
Problematic aspects aside, That Vegan Teacher’s passion for her lifestyle is undeniable. She is a fierce protector of animals — though perhaps a little too fierce. Yet she is unabashed in her desire to spread the word to as many people as she can. There is much to admire about her as well. It’s not always easy for older people to keep up with technological trends. TikTok itself is sometimes considered a polarizing platform.
Nevertheless, Miss Kadie has adapted quite well to the tech and found effective ways of delivering her message and sharing her life. This too is an achievement in its own right. Sharing one’s life and beliefs over social media is never easy and it’s especially difficult for the passionate, who often find themselves on the wrong end of the internet’s discerning eye.
Is That Vegan Teacher toxic for vegans?
Internet trolls and ironic memeing and duetting of her message by fellow TikTokers notwithstanding, Miss Kadie’s tactics are seen as somewhat problematic by many viewers — specifically some in the vegan community. According to several articles, one by The Mycenean and one by The Startup, Miss Kadie’s message is “toxic” to vegan culture.
She compares veganism and the plight of animals to several hot button topics such as the #MeToo movement, the oppression of African Americans, and religion. It's not uncommon for her to give controversial replies to user questions either. She responded to one TikTok user's question about whether she would rather save a cow or a child with a cagey, “how much meat does this child consume?” — though she also said she would weigh different factors into making that decision.
Several of Miss Kadie’s videos indicate that those who follow religions that advocate eating animals in any way should abandon their religion in favor of a more vegan-sensitive one. It’s a sticky wicket, to be sure, especially as religion sits quite firmly in many people’s hearts and minds.
Did That Vegan Teacher get arrested?
In January 2021, rumors began to spread on TikTok and YouTube that Miss Kadie is being arrested. According to one YouTuber, the rumors stem from a TikTok in which That Vegan Teacher seemingly made fun of a comment where someone said their friend died after going vegan. (You can get more info on the rumors from this YouTube video, but be warned that it's full of misinformation regarding nutrition as well as strong language against That Vegan Teacher.)
That Vegan Teacher denied the rumors in a TikTok on Jan. 21.
"Apparently I've been arrested/Apparently I'm in jail/Apparently there's some article about me in the Daily Mail," she sang in the video, referring to an article about Gordon Ramsey duetting one of her TikToks.
She then added that she was home, had no idea what was going on, and that people shouldn't believe the rumors, before asking followers to check out the free documentary Dominion.
"Vegan phobia is real. They will do anything ... to try to get you to stop being an animal rights activist," she added at the end of the video, saying that what needs to be stopped are the meat, dairy, and egg industries, not animal rights activists.
Is That Vegan Teacher an effective advocate for veganism?
Veganism is the most effective lifestyle to reduce your footprint on the Earth, there is no denying that. There’s ample proof that it lowers individuals' environmental impact and can make you healthier, overall. But despite Miss Kadie’s persistent message, going vegan isn't so simple for some people.
According to Insider, there are several reasons one might struggle to shift to a vegan lifestyle. They could be gluten intolerant, possess celiac disease, have IBS, a soy allergy, nut allergy, or a persistent vitamin B12 or zinc deficiency. These issues are not insurmountable, of course, but according to That Vegan Teacher, no excuses are valid. This intransigence is another reason why many see Miss Kadie’s message as problematic.
In the end, you’ll have to make up your own mind about That Vegan Teacher. Miss Kadie's passion and zeal for her subject matter are certainly not in question, nor is her earnest desire to put an end to the suffering of all living things. As to whether her particularly aggressive approach is good or bad for the vegan lifestyle, remains to be seen.